Monday, December 20, 2010

Surrounded by Seabirds

An impromptu trip to the beach Sunday afternoon resulted in one of the most memorable afternoons of my life. 

After a full day of work, HB picked me up, and we headed to Brewer's Bay for a swim and a snorkel. When we arrived, there was a large flock of about 30 pelicans at one end of the beach, fishing for fry and frolicking in the surf. HB and I waded into the water at the opposite end of the beach, and while HB set to snorkeling, I relaxed in the waves. 

As I waded in the water, I was delighted to watch the pelicans diving for fish, and gliding low over the water. A few flew so close to me, I could feel the wind from their wings. About the time HB tired from snorkeling, and joined me for a little floating in the shallows, I noticed that where the majority of the pelicans had been a few hundred yards down the beach from me, now the largest portion was maybe only a hundred feet away. 

HB and I stayed still in the water, and as the surf continued to shift, and the large shoals of small fry moved closer to us, so, too, did the pelicans. Soon, there were fifteen or twenty pelicans fishing all around us, within twenty or thirty feet of us. They would dive and swoop and fly just over the tops of our heads. The best part was when one pelican dove straight down into the water only five feet in front of me. 

The nearness of so many birds, along with the sheer size of the pelicans (most have about a 6' wingspan), eventually made me nervous enough to get out of the water, but I'm sure this serendipitous afternoon will stay with both HB and me for a long time. 

1 comment:

  1. And do we want to talk about the swans again?????


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